But pregnant Ali Silver’s husband broke his vow and walked away from her. After being injured in combat, Jericho has finally come home to Bitterroot Valley to make peace with his father and regain Ali’s trust. But the single mom’s keeping secrets of her own. And someone’s killing off Ali’s cattle and sabotaging her horse therapy business. Jericho will do whatever it takes to protect his wife and be a real father to his son. Because when it comes to love and second chances, he’s one determined cowboy.
Anyone who’s read very many of my reviews knows that I’m personally acquainted with a lot of authors. That said, I do my very best to give honest reviews [with the disclaimer that I don’t offer to review books I don’t expect to enjoy].
To be completely up front about it… Jessica Keller is an exceptionally dear friend of mine. She’s my NovelSista and one of those people I hold extremely close in my heart. She [and Kristy – my other NovelSista] were among the first to know about my skin cancer last year, long before it was public knowledge. In the last eighteen months, we’ve walked through the cancer and Bell’s Palsy, two pregnancies, rejections, acceptances, more rejections, contest wins, losses, job stress, financial stress, a cancelled NovelSista retreat weekend at Jess’s house, and so on.
In fact, I was in complete tears before I even got to the first page of the novel because, there in the dedication were the following words:
…Carol and Kristy, my beloved NovelSisters, your prayers made this book a reality…
So this book is much nearer and dearer to my heart than most.
That said, I honestly, truly would not have written a review of it if I didn’t enjoy it. I had the privilege of reading the original [longer] version of it and, while there were bits of that version I missed, overall this is the stronger version and well worth the read.
Jericho is a to-die-for, swoonworthy cowboy hero. And everyone knows how much I love a good cowboy hero. He made a mistake when he was younger – leaving his pregnant wife. To be fair, he didn’t know she was pregnant, but still. He left for the right reasons, though I won’t give those away, but he still left.
Ali has struggled during those years as a single mom trying to keep her ranch from going under and start a non-profit program providing special needs kids with riding therapy.
Chase is a darling boy – wants to be a cowboy just like his new buddy Jericho. He wants nothing more than a dad.
Jessica does a great job of drawing us into the Bitterroot Valley. The people are the neighbors next door, but mostly the story circles around Jericho, Ali, Chase, and the people on their ranch – including Tripp who is vying for Ali’s attentions.
There’s a bit of suspense and Jessica keeps you guessing as to the “bad guy” and the motivation behind it. There’s other revelations along the way to keep anyone smiling and sighing – and crying when things look grim all around.
She tugs on heartstrings and I absolutely cannot wait to read her next offering!!!! [And, I gotta say, I kinda hope I get to be a first reader and read them early as well ;). I know some of the stuff she’s working on and this gal is gonna take the writing world by storm.]
Overall rating: 8.25 out of 10 stars